William Rawn Associates is an Architecture firm based in Boston and was established in 1983. This firm has completed a wide range of projects encompassing mixed-use urban buildings, college campuses performing arts facilities, and affordable housing. Some of the freshly completed projects include the Berklee Tower at Berklee College of Music, Tata Hall at Harvard Business School, the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College, an overall campus masterplan and architectural design of the West Campus Residential area at Northeastern University in Boston, the Cambridge Public Library, and the MIT Ashdown Grad Student Residence Hall.

The firm has won 12 American Institute of Architects National Honor Awards and Within the last seven years, William Rawn Associates was ranked no. 1in 2009, no.3 in 2011, no.4 in 2013 and no. 2 in 2014 and 2012, in ARCHITECT Magazine’s annual list of the nation’s top 50 firms.  In the past twenty years, the firm has won over 180 national, regional, city and state AIA Awards and other design awards and has been titled the industry leader in sustainable practices by ARCHITECT in 2011. 

1. Harvard Business School, Tata Hall | William Rawn Associates

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet1
Harvard Business School ©cdnassets.hw.net/b7/67/ff2f76554dbc8a3fe9347350771d/hbstatahall-3-robert-benson-photography.jpg

Tata Hall is a building named in honour of its former chairman and HBS alumni Ratan Tata on the campus of the Harvard Business School in Allston, Massachusetts. The Tata Group gave $ 50 million for its construction, and The project began in 2010, and it was completed in 2013. This 161,000 square-foot building includes a dormitory, two classrooms, 179 bedrooms and three gathering spaces. It has seven-stories and is a glass and stone building. Tata Hall has a peculiar arc shape that enriches the School’s existing Executive Education facilities, which includes McArthur, Baker, and Mellon Halls (residences), Glass Hall (administration) and McCollum and Hawes Halls (classrooms). TATA hall is all about building connections.

2. The Lofts of Washington University St. Louis

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet2
The Lofts of Washington University ©cdnassets.hw.net/f6/fa/1ea39d3b47afb9bf90d76528c4b7/the-lofts-at-washington-university-hero.jpg

The Lofts of Washington University (LEED Platinum) is a 280,000-square-foot development that is mixed-use which consists of two buildings featuring ground-floor retail with residential apartments on the upper floor and three residential apartment buildings on Enright Avenue and 415 beds in loft-style apartments and parking. This building represents the University’s efforts to reinvigorate its surrounding neighbourhood by locating student apartments in “the Loop” which is an exceedingly thriving 24-hour urban district located six blocks from the university. It is a unique type of residence hall that explores the possibilities of adapting to a new residential life model of living and learning in an urban mould. A new pedestrian mews connects The Loop with the residential neighbourhood in the north. The project noticeably conveys its commitment to sustainable living. Key elements include bioswales, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, rain gardens, sustainable building materials and high-efficiency glazing. A south-facing solar shading system is one of the main architectural features of the Loft.

3. Tufts University Sophia Gordon Hall | William Rawn Associates

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet3
Sophia Gordon Hall ©data.openasset.com/397453f2/21b6ec8924a998caad42d0ea1a03f866/USA_3613_N2_tif/USA_3613_N2_carousel.jpg

This 126-bed 62,000 sq. ft residence hall which is the first green student housing on the Tufts University campus, this LEED Gold building implemented quite assertive energy-saving technologies to affirm and uphold Tuft’s priorities to shrink greenhouse gas emissions on campus. A strong pedestrian path connects the uphill and downhill campus. The four-story building includes four and six-bedroom apartments and a small student theatre. Through integrating a series of solar technologies, the project illustrates the university’s allegiance to sustainability.

4. MIT Ashdown Graduate Residence Halls Cambridge

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet4

MIT’s first LEED-Gold Certified building was completed in September 2008. This new state-of-the-art graduate residence hall is 250,000 s.f. in the area and creates an entirely new model district for graduate housing. It has apartments for 550 students, an apartment for the housemaster,  a noteworthy “common” space, Five interconnected buildings and 2 courtyards connecting the project physically and visually to the surrounding Cambridge neighbourhood. 

5. Wheelock College Campus Center and Student Residences Boston | William Rawn Associates

Image Sources: Image 5 – Wheelock College Campus Center and Student Residences Boston


Some 40 years later this project is the first significant new building in Wheelock College. Located along the Riverway, it is 60,000 s.f. in expanse and provides 108 new student beds, a 250-seat dining facility for the whole campus, and campus centric activities such as a lounge, cafe, multi-purpose room, conference room, mailroom, campus store and few associated offices. These public conveniences are found on the ground floor, with dining on the second floor and the student residences above it.

6. New Town on the Napa River Napa

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet6
New Pipe Redevelopment ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/styles/tinythumb/public/project/3_30.jpg?itok=vW3ifQXb

This LEED-ND Gold Certified mixed-type housing has 3000+ units in a 157-acre development including a townhouse and a mid-rise dwelling(4-7 storey) configuration confronting the Napa River. To encourage the views of both the Napa River and the surrounding Napa Valley hills Open spaces have been provided which include a vibrant town centre surrounded by restaurant, retail, and housing uses.

7. Cedar Rapids, US Courthouse

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet7
US Courthouse ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/mainthumb/WR_CedarRapids_03.jpg

Sited on the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids this District Courthouse in the United States put in collaboration for the very first time the District, Magistrate, and Bankruptcy Courts, also the Appellate Court chambers, Probation Services, Congressional offices and the offices of the U.S. Attorney. It is 300,000 g.s.f. In expanse and the interiors are like any other older courthouses having windows that fill the courtrooms with diffused daylight. The innovative solutions used to enhance security and sustainability have been applauded on many platforms.

8. Baltimore County Performing Arts and Humanities Building Baltimore, University of Maryland | William Rawn Associates

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet8
Baltimore County Performing Arts and Humanities Building ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/2L3V7779%20lighter.jpg

This 160,000 g.s.f. project brings in collaboration the Performing Arts and Humanities Faculty in a new state-of-the-art teaching and performance facility. A two-phase project, this new facility includes a 275-seat Proscenium Theatre with a flytower and flexible forestage, a 350-seat Concert Hall,  Dance Studio Theatres, a Black Box Theatre, recording studio, a recital hall,  rehearsal studios,music technology labs, several classrooms, offices and informal gathering spaces. 

9. University of Virginia Marching Band Rehearsal Hall Charlottesville

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet9
University of Virginia Marching Band Rehearsal Hall ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/01.%20UVA%20Band.jpg

This new two-and-a-half-story building totaling 17,900 g.s.f. Is the Rehearsal Hall for the University Marching Band and includes around 4,100 s.f. main rehearsal space for a music band of approximately 250 capacity, band offices and support spaces. The palette for exterior materials is primarily brick and glass with a copper-clad standing-seam roof. The rehearsal room has a sweeping glass window-area facing the Arts Commons, which swamps the rehearsal space with natural light and permits visibility from outside.

10. Boston Public Library, East Boston Branch | William Rawn Associates

William Rawn Associates- 15 Iconic Sustainable Projects - Sheet10
Boston Public Library ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/WRA_EBo_Benson_1-reduced.jpg

The new East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library overlooks Bremen Street Park is 15,000 s.f. In expanse and assists the whole East Boston locals. The project which is LEED Gold certified showcases Plan flexibility and a focus on early literacy programming define this compact, technologically advanced branch library includes an open-plan community reading room with view of the Boston skyline and the park, with areas focused for adults, teens and children, additionally there is a quiet reading room, a conference room and community space for versatile programs. A Reading Porch runs besides the length of the building alongside the park, providing outdoor space for reading, congregating, and using the wireless internet network.

11. Johns Hopkins University Cordish Lacrosse Center Baltimore

Cordish Lacrosse Center ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/JHU%20Cordish%20Lacrosse%20Center%20Image-130690_cropped%20trellis.jpg

Johns Hopkins University’s powerhouse the Lacrosse Building is 14,750 sf in expanse, is a stand-alone building located on a distinguished location at the east end of Homewood Field. It  integrates the rich history of the program with its architecture. The facility allows an impressive entry onto the field by the Hopkins lacrosse teams and a remarkable viewing platform and game-day facilities for coaches and guests respectively. Also provided are lockers, team meeting rooms, training facilities, a reception space and coaches’ offices, as well as a gallery space celebrating and showcasing the historic accomplishments of Hopkins’ Lacrosse.

12. Salem State University: New Residence Hall

Salem State University: New Residence Hall ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/WR_SalemState_VikingHall_01a.jpg

GSF residence hall at Salem State University is 105,000s.f. accommodating 350 beds and provides a new face to the University’s Central Campus. The building is arranged into two wings that specify two notably major new green spaces – a south-facing quadrangle that is the center of residential life and an outward-looking civic green. The project comprises a large campus-wide public space that functions as a Starbucks café by day and an open-mic  performance venue for nights and other events. A glassy bridge unites the two wings where these two outdoor spaces come together.

13. SUNY Alfred State College Student Leadership Center Alfred, NY | William Rawn Associates

Student Leadership Center ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/01_3.jpg

This Student Leadership Center unites the students, faculty and staff in a campus that is common with over a dozen other leadership “storefronts” which seam the upstairs and downstairs edge of the mutual dining space. This 50,000 gsf building sports a café, gaming room, radio station, climbing wall, and additional space for around 90 active clubs at the college. 

The highly visible leadership suites or  “storefronts” operate to inspire and engage students by promoting opportunities that boosts involvement. 

14. Berklee College of Music 160 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA

Berklee College of Music ©rawnarch.com/sites/default/files/project/2846D_4122_0_0.jpg

Overlooking Massachusetts Avenue, this new Berklee College of Music multi-use residence hall of 176,000 g.s.f. fortifies the College’s manifold links to Boston City. The transparent facade creates an active urban street edge all the while disclosing the life of the building. The building includes a 2-story 400-seat Dining Hall which also serves as a student performance venue facing the street, freshman housing and music technology studios, gathering spaces for student activity, and ground-floor retail. 

15. Harvard Business School Klarman Hall | William Rawn Associates

Klarman Hall ©images.squarespace-cdn.com

Klarman Hall is 74,400 s.f. 1,000-seat hall planned and designed to render a versatile convening and collaboration space at the core of the historic Harvard Business School campus. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems, excellent acoustics for spoken word and comfy and cozy seating for diverse audiences. The new building meets the future and current necessities of the school’s myriad conferences and performances. As a keystone of the school’s convening  infrastructure, Klarman Hall is fashioned to expand HBS’s global convening footprint. 


Ilma Nafees is a bachelor's student pursuing Architecture from Jamia Millia Islamia. She has a deep interest in the conservation of the built heritage and the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. She believes writing an architectural content would enhance the understanding of the discipline better as architecture is the art of changing people’s life.